In Their Own Words: Madden on Vikings vs. Packers



By Melissa S. Wollering

While Brett Favre was waffling this off-season, I, John Madden, was eating waffles with maple syrup and little chocolate sprinkles over whipped cream out of that aerosol can thingy. Oh, and I also made people believe my retirement was linked to my ability to never again commentate with Brett Favre at the helm of an NFL team.  Boy, was I wrong.  You know what I’m still right about?  Ace is the place for hardware. And the road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.

Many people believed I would come back to announce only if Favre came back to play.  You know who spread that rumor? The guy who came back to host a primetime version of his Tonight Show on the same network that moved MNF to its sister network and settled for football on Sunday nights.  Now Football Night in America has a bunch of idiots representing them at one desk. I like Tony Dungy, but who thought that putting Costas, Patrick, Olbermann and Harrison together was smart? Gee, don’t worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon.

Some thought I returned to sports via the ice rink. I know it may surprise you, but there’s actually another wicked cool guy named John Madden.  Just don’t get the two of us mixed up.  No, when I hinted at a return based on a hypothetical second return from Favre, I mean, I really thought he was done.  I really never expected Brett to come back AGAIN. Not for the Vikings.  I mean, now that he has, I don’t know what I WOULDN’T give to announce Monday’s game.

I mean, I’ve been going through horsetrailer withdrawal as it is. The possibility of being able to put Brett Favre on the horsetrailer should he pull off a come-from-behind-two-seconds-left-win like he did two weeks ago Sunday.  Man, I don’t know what I wouldn’t give.


I would have liked to spend some time with Favre and Chilly last week.  I mean, that coaching relationship has to be Brett teaching Brad more than anything. Coaches have to watch for what they don’t want to see and listen to what they don’t want to hear.  That’s Brett described to a tee, if I’ve ever heard.

I’d also like to be a fly on the wall of Coach McCarthy’s office this week. What’s he telling the defense?  The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break. Speaking of breaking something, how about breaking Brett’s arm, er, I mean, breaking up the passing game? When your arm gets hit, the ball is not going to go where you want it to.

I would’ve taken the RV up to Eden Prairie this week, no problem.  But I didn’t get an invite.  I mean, where is Al Michaels these days anyway?  Kickin’ a bag of bolts? You know, he said he was going to get me some passes for the booth this season even though I had retired.  I made it to some of the training camps as I always do—but just for fun this year. I was really looking forward to hearing from Al, maybe to be there for the first Sunday night game in the new stadium in Dallas, especially the booth. He knows how much I like the Cowboys. Didn’t get a call.  I’m starting to think he never liked me.


I also always liked drawing on the telestrator and making marks on the touchscreen in front of a national audience that had no idea with the frick I was doing.  BOOM. Incredible. What I wouldn’t give to outline some of the plays Favre executes Monday night. He’s going to have great protection. The Vikings offensive linemen are the biggest guys on the field.  They’re bigger than everybody else and that’s what makes them the biggest guys on the field.


Remember when the Chargers game got moved to Arizona because of those fires, and the blimp showed the ASU swimming pool? I got to draw telestrator lines all over the pool because if I had been in that pool, I would probably have swum to the right as opposed to the left.  How else could I have helped the fans understand that? Someone named Peter Christian wrote me the following week. Said a little piece of him died and he’s never gotten those two minutes of his life back. I’m sorry, Peter.

They say Brett Favre has an ‘S’ on underneath his jersey and he is going to go and be Superman every week.  You can’t. I don’t think he has lost anything, though. I study Brett Favre a lot and watch everything. You see that he’s older now. Can he still move? Yes, he can still move. Can he still throw the ball with the same velocity? Yes, he can still throw the ball with the same velocity. So the Packers’ lack of success wasn’t about Brett Favre. He didn’t have a lot of guys around him back then. I think he’s got a lot of guys with Peterson and Harvin and Taylor and…who else is on the Vikings?

Anyway, for his first match up against his former Packers, Brett feels the pressure real and the pressure imagined. No matter what they do, they really can’t screw it up. This game probably won’t be as good as the Rams versus Packers at Lambeau Field back in ’04 with “Big Play” Isaac Holt, but I was half in the bag that night. Can’t drink like that anymore with my blood pressure medication.


I mean, you know my keys to the game:

• I think the team that wins the battle of the turnovers, will probably win this game.
• The team that dominates the line of scrimmage will probably have a better chance of winning.
• If either Adrian Peterson or Ryan Grant is held to under 100 yards, the opposing team will probably win this game.
• I’m obsessed with the word probably.
• Every time the Packers are on MNF, I can’t stop talking about Favre. This time is no different.
• If my team was down by 3 points with under 2 minutes to go, I’d want Brett Favre as my QB.

And lastly, Al…won’t you call me?

These words are not the true expressions of the real John Madden and should not be used,  misinterpreted or re-purposed without the express written consent of They are for entertainment-only purposes.


  1. paulmbanks says

    wow this was really good Melissa. so good in fact that I couldnt even finish it. I know that sounds a bit odd, but wht I mean is. You sounded so much like him, and since I can’t stand him that’s why I couldnt finish reading it.

    But I forced myself anyway, just to here Madden re-stating and overstating the obvious, talking in circles, talking himself back in circles

  2. Did anybody else read this in their head and randomly mumble at certain times to make it seem more Madden-esque???

  3. mswollering says

    Thank you Paul! That is the highest compliment. Madden annoys the piss out of most people, so not being able to finish makes me proud!

    Yes Dave. Couldn’t you just hear the ahhhehhhyyyee…. about every 5th line or so?

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